The result of lockdown measures in response to the new Covid-19 virus has been the largest fall ever of greenhouse gas emissions. But which of these measures can be used post-lockdown to sustain at least part of this reduction of emissions?

This exploratory study assessed the change of perceived quality of life among 746 individuals from Stockholm region due to complying to lockdown measures. The associated change of annual per capita greenhouse emissions due to complying to lockdown measures was calculated.

Among the 11 life style changes investigated, the authors found that avoiding travel for work, avoiding purchasing and avoiding restaurants had the least negative effect on quality of life and at the same time the largest positive effect on CO2 emission reductions. The authors conclude that these are potential leverage points for stimulating behavioral change that has a positive climatic impact.

The research team is now looking at a similar study involving high school students as citizen scientists. “This project would involve our team as well as futures studies researchers from Gothenburg as well as educators from the Nobel Prize Museum,” says Alasdair Skelton.
Read the article by Maria Niemi, Alasdair Skelton, Kevin Noone and Mats J. Olsson on AGU’s website.